The Reedy Shoals of Havisham

Under a goose moon, he calls amongst the lament of waves, whispering in ripples.

Spring arrives once more. Is it really time to start thinking about death again? Everything’s a reminder since he lost her.

Yesterday was laundry day for the man that feeds bread to the ducks. He passed his bungalow on Dorsey Road, and did a double-take –  he could’ve sworn the breeze that stirred the drying white shirts to motion had possessed them of her likeness: that elegant neck, that way she glides; he always thought it processional, but the word’s funereal

The spears of spring buds turn coronet to crown to veil, as they’re born, bloom and seed; reap and sow, ebb and flow.

He considers their lineage; forever to be a sole, white yacht lost amongst an ocean of drab tugboats. Or perhaps she still has the energy to make a fleet, after all.

Just not with him.

He casts roses for love, and a lotus for peace, onto the waters that took him. She ignores them for the ranunculus and reedmace she scoops and drapes like bunting for a wedding that’ll never happen.

His grief deepens to see her moving around the now-derelict home they’d made under April showers and the ember sunsets of May. Round and around she goes, an implacable hour hand; Death’s scythe, murdering time.


For him?

What’s his part in this? To observe? To counsel?

If so, he’d say, ‘Have hope! Enjoy what you have left. Stop this Havishammery – she had nothing to teach except the blessedness of white. Although our next tryst may be one of spirit, I know it’s coming.’

He knows, because he has faith.

He knows, because he has time.

But mostly, because he knows where swans go when their loved one dies.

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